Do you like Happy Endings?

Minds out of the gutter perverts and pervettes.Β I am talking about in books and movies.

Closing a book where your hero achieved his goal makes you feel good. And don’t you love leaving the movie theater with a smile on your face?

But it is the shocking ending or tragic ending that is memorable.

For Whom The Bell Tolls, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Of Mice and Men, Romeo and Juliet, Gone With The Wind, The Boy In The Striped Pajamas, all classic examples of tragic (memorable) endings in literature.

At the theater who can forget these endings? American Beauty, Titanic, Schindler’s List, The Sixth Sense, Philadelphia, The Green Mile, and the list goes on and on.

Even science fiction has had its share of sad endings. 1984 and the original Planet of the Apes are two examples.

Want to write something unforgettable – you guessed it. Tragic ending.

So, which do you prefer?

Do you like happy endings?

 

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151 thoughts on “Do you like Happy Endings?

      1. Yes, it just seems unrealistic. I don’t mind a happy ending but I just hate when it’s predictable. I don’t know why, but the movie Juno comes to mind. I actually was kind of liking the movie for it’s character portrayal and then, probably as I was watching the last half hour, I just got this sickly feeling that it would all tie up into this neat little bow of boy gets girl, boy loses girl, boy gets girl back again….and it did! Just killed the whole movie for me!

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  1. Happy ending in movies are the way to make people believe and have hope that they’ll also gonna have a happy ending, I’m actually one of those πŸ™‚ but tragic ending in films are the best, yes it makes the movie unforgettable πŸ™‚ loved sixth sense.

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      1. Haha yes those endings are the ones where you unconsciously scratch your head because of confusion and amazement. Happy endings are just too mainstream now I guess.

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  2. Both. I prefer both. I don’t believe that we have to choose one or the other. We need the variety. Happy endings give us hope and tragic endings give us caution. Both are needed to survive this Topsy-Turvy life. Not to mention that I am greedy and I always want it ALL. πŸ˜‰

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  3. The ending I prefer is the one that fits, be it happy or sad. I get fed up of reading stories that have been so twisted around by the author just so the heroine can have her hero (or vice versa). Or, as has happened too often, Hollywood changing the endings of films because the preview audience didn’t like the ending. Real life doesn’t always end happily and maybe sometimes getting the guy (or gal) could actually be the worst thing possible for the MC.
    The right ending for the story is all I ask, one example – The Dark Tower series by Stephen King (this isn’t a spoiler) – when I finished I was kind of annoyed, but it was the right ending.

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  4. I like ambiguous endings, actually. They leave you thinking about the movie or book much longer afterwards. Like the ending to the movie, Lost In Translation, (can’t italicize) where you don’t know what he whispers to her at the end (if you’ve seen it).
    Guess it depends on the genre as well, as far as what works, but happy, kind of sappy, endings to romances are the worst, imho! Would rather see a tragic twist in those! lol

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    1. Yeah, I have seen it. Good movie. Usually, I am not too keen on the ambigous endings. Sometimes Hollywood gets it wrong. I agree with you on the romances with sappy endings. Although, last night I saw How To Lose a Man In Ten Days and I enjoyed it. Yeah, tragic twists are the best. Thanks for stopping by.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I think you are right about tragic endings being more memorable. But every once in a while, an ending with an unexpected but happy twist will stick with you! Examples: Water For Elephants! It’s a Wonderful Life (not unexpected, but I’m a sucker for Jimmy Stewart and this movie!) The Shawshank Redemption, to name a few. What do you think? Memorable?

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    1. Shawshank is one of my favorites. Love it. Considered by many to be the best screenplay ever written. I love the other movies you mentioned as well. Meg, I am writing a list of movies that inspire me and two are on the list. Yeah, those movies are memorable. Great point.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. This is an interesting question and I think it depends. I think that if a “happy ending” doesn’t make sense or that it’s just there to leave the reader happy, then it’s not the best ending possible (if that makes sense). On the other hand, I think that a tragic ending can ruin the point of the story or can be rather disappointing. For example, if the last book I read ended on a purely negative note, I would have been disappointed, but it ended in a both a good and bad way (in my opinion) so the ending was satisfying. This is similar to the ending of the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest. I think in a way the ending was tragic, but it was also happy (if you know what I’m referring to). I think the ending though (even though slightly tragic) proved the point of the movie.

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    1. Yes, I understand. The positive message was Chief Bromden’s gathers his immense strength and courage to escape, but not before ending McMurphy’s life with dignity. Great movie. Thanks for adding your insightful comments to this post. I appreciate it. Have a great week, full of happy endings.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I’m ALL about the tragic ending. Which, you know, makes sense. My favorite novels are the ones that make you want to die.

    On occasion I can really go for an UPLIFTING ending. It’s not quite a happy ending but it’s an ending that gives you the slightest bit of hope.

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  8. I prefer happy endings, but for some movies and books, the only ending that makes sense is a tragic one. I’d rather see that than a happy ending be forced. (Really hard to keep the double entendres out of these statements.)

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      1. ha ha, but I had to change my ending to HEA ending. that killed me a bit but that’s how publishing works and sometimes you buckle to finally get your book published. long story short: I’m Greek so Tragedy wins every time. Those ending are the best, never forget them but romantic stories…I like happy ending too, like Serendipity πŸ™‚

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  9. Maybe people that see the glass half empty like tragic endings, whereas the ones that see it half full like happy endings. I like to think that I am drawn to find similarities more than find differences.

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  10. I’ve thought about this a lot because I seem to be incapable of an unhappy ending when it comes to my writing. Even though, I know life doesn’t have happy endings a great deal of the time. I am a hopeful person and leaving on a down note makes me feel that I’m leaving out the most important part, the part in me that keeps me moving even when things usually, don’t turn out the way I want them. That important part is hope. I’ve also, seen people choose positivity to the point of denial of grim reality and things written from that perspective are pleasant but not very useful. I think of myself as a realistic optimist, a joyful mourning dove. Life with no hope is cynicism and a life that denies the negative is a fairy tale. So…for myself writing a happy ending to a terrible problem is being true to who I am.

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    1. Thank you for adding this profound comment to this post. I consider myself one of the greatest optimists. I try to always convey positivity in my posts, conversations, and my life. But my two novels? Tragic endings. I don’t know why, that is the only way I can end my writing. Odd isn’t it? “Life with no hope is cynicism and a life that denies the negative is a fairy tale.” Damn, I love that phrase. It is so real.

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      1. Thanks for re-enforcing the fact that our words usually, lead to the truth about ourselves no matter how hard we try to shape them to the conclusion we desire. I’m just an old lady whose had a long time to wrestle with these thoughts and with the negatives vs. the positives of life. When it comes to writing, the importance of it is in its authenticity. Then others decide what use it has for them. For the artist, it is the process that is most important.

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        1. God I love my conversations with you. The process is important. Here I am trying to find an agent for my writing, well, I make sure to enjoy this process as well. Regarding authenticity: Twain said, “Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn’t.”

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          1. And reality as we perceive it is usually, a combination of both. We humans are limited in our ‘knowing’ but we’re great at filling in the gaps with our imagination. lol! I very much enjoy conversing with you too. We creative types are poorly understood.:0)

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  11. I was just talking to my friend about The Boy In The Striped Pajamas. I was torn between being incredibly sad and ring glad that the Nazi had lost his son. He didn’t have a problem killing somebody else’s child.
    Happy endings for me….unbelievable. Sad endings….something I understand.

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  12. Hmm. Tragic or happy? That’s a hard one. I’m a sucker for tragic endings (like your Romeo and Juliet example), but, I must admit that there’s something great in having a perfect happy ending in a book or a movie since it rarely happens in real life. That perfect happy ending can be such a helpful escape sometimes.

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    1. As long as its not predictable a happy ending like Shawshank Redemption can be memorable. We need happy endings to give us hope and an escape from reality. ut I am with you I am a syucker for those tragic endings. Both of my novels end that way.

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  13. My career choice has seen so many unhappy endings that I seek happy endings whenever realistically possible. It is a balancing force in my life.
    I have to admit, though, I do enjoy when Lucy picks that football up off the ground just prior to Charlie Brown kicking it. πŸ˜€

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  14. The boy in the striped pajama makes me cry every time i watch the movie. I know it is based on a book but I have never read the book, another movie based on the holocaust, the reader is another movie that makes me sad.

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  15. I agree with your point. Tragic endings somehow elevate good movies to great, probably because they don’t provide us viewers with the sense of closure and fulfillment that we so crave. Lest we forget, cinema is escapism in itself and we all want to escape our sad and supposedly unhappy lives by having our heroes succeed. And that’s probably where tragic endings score, leaving indelible marks on the heart.
    Case in point, Chinatown. Would it be so celebrated had the ending not been what it was?
    Great post again. Thanks.

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  16. I like happy endings but the harder work and effort characters need to put in to have happy ending the better, the more complicated plot the better. so happy ending yes but not predictable.

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      1. Exactly. I think we do it because we want to tell something to reader, to learn them something, show them our own lessons we needed to go through, our own hard road to happiness, our own mistakes… our own or those we heard about those we subconsciously think we should experience… because I think that someone can more appreciate happiness of they need to work on it, try for it, put effort to achieve it, some goal we dream about. So let me quote fragment of doing I love which I think it’s so accurate.. “The narrowest path is always the holiest… so walk on bare foot for me, suffer some misery of you want my love” ~ “Judas” #DepecheMode
        hugs my friend. 😊🌹

        Liked by 1 person

  17. Oh man…it’s true that it seems nigh impossible for epics to NOT have some degree of tragedy to their endings. Just look at LOTR–the only primary death we had to feel came at the end of the FIRST movie, when they were only facing some baddies, not, you know, an entire country’s worth. I’m coming to terms that I’ll have to do some injury to my heroes, and I don’t like it. Not one bit! But it fits the story. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Memorable literature and cinema usually end with some type of tragedy. Funny thing about writing; we create our characters that we love then spend the rest of the novel trying to make them miserable. Best of luck with your writing. Thank you for reading. It is appreciated.

      Liked by 1 person

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